We fought very well: Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel on 1-run defeat to South Africa

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Kingstown: Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel said that they fought very well against South Africa in the T20 World Cup 2024 match at the Arnos Vale Ground on Saturday. Nepal lost by a run to Aiden Markram’s South Africa in Kingstown.

Paudel displayed a sloppy performance in the second innings of the match against the Proteas. He was dismissed by Tabraiz Shamsi for a two-ball duck in the eighth over during the run chase. Speaking after the end of the match, Paudel said that he was proud of the squad, and both the batters and the bowlers did well.

The Nepal skipper also accepted that they failed to do well during the crunch moment of the match. “Very proud of the unit, especially the way we bowled and batted. We saw the wicket yesterday and thought it will be on the slower side. We saw that it helped spinners and that’s when we introduced Kushal Bhurtel and carried on with the spinners. We were so close yet a little far. We didn’t do well in the crunch moments but we fought very well. Well be on the other side next time if we play teams like this more often. I want to thank the fans for supporting us. We are very grateful to them,” Paudel said.

Recapping the match, Nepal won the toss and elected to bowl first. Opener Reeza Hendricks held the fort while wickets kept falling, scoring 43 in 49 balls, with five fours and a six. Proteas was reduced to 82/4 in 15.3 overs. Later, a solid knock of 27* in 18 balls, with two fours and a six, pushed the Proteas towards 115/7 in their 20 overs.

Kushal Bhurtel (4/19) was the pick of the bowlers for Nepal. Dipendra Singh Airee also took 3/21 in his four overs. In the run-chase of 116 runs, Aasif Sheikh (42 in 49 balls, with four boundaries and a six) steered his team to a near victory after they were reduced to 35/2 in 7.4 overs. Aasif had a 50-run partnership with Anil Sah (27 in 24 balls, with three fours and a six). In the final over, Nepal was left to get eight runs. But Gulshan Jha (6) being run-out on the final ball left them a run short of what could have been a famous victory.

Tabraiz Shamsi was impressive with the ball, delivering a spell of 4/19 in four overs. Anrich Nortje and Aiden Markram also took a wicket each. Shamsi secured the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his heroic spell. South Africa ends the group stage with four wins in four games, with eight points. They are the table toppers in Group D. Nepal is in fourth place with two losses and a no result, giving them just one point.

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